Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Local foods in New Hampshire

Blogger is so good to let me know that it has been a month and a half (nay, almost two months) since my last post to this blog.  Thank you, blogger, I'm on it, okay?

We have been up to the usual busy nothingness of summer: moving, water parks, free bowling, kids' dollar movies, etc.  The first week of July we got to sneak away just the two of us for a week to New Hampshire, and I think I'm in love.  However, my dear husband tells me I haven't experienced a New England winter, and we have four kids who are required to live in a small area of Texas, so maybe we'll stay put for a while.

My DH hiding in the shadows in front of part of the farm
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast on a farm that practices sustainable farming.  If you ever find yourself wanting to get away up north, I would highly recommend The Inn at Valley Farms. Our hostess, Jackie was wonderful, (and no, she didn't pay me to say that.) 

Our first full day there, after a delicious three course breakfast, we ventured down to nearby Keene to pick up some goodies at the Farmer's Market and do some window shopping.  In the afternoon we stopped by an alpaca farm and learned about alpacas and maple syrup from the farmer.  (And yes, we bought some goodies.)

Community Pizza Night-the oven is in front of the building on the right
That evening, we drove out to a bakery which hosts community pizza night every Tuesday night, donating all the profits to a local charity each week.  Everyone brings toppings to share and for five dollars you are given a lump of dough to stretch and form into a crust which you then take to the sauce table, the  cheese table, and finally the toppings table.  After this point they cook your pizza in a large outdoor fire oven, and you find a place to sit on the benches or the grass.  I would so love to do this with my church group, but I don't know how we'd cook all the pizza!

The following morning we went to a small town's Fourth of July parade over the border of Vermont.  Their local Farmers' Market marched in the parade and passed out carrots!  After the parade, there were different merchant tents set up and food vendors.  I found a lady selling jewelry made from beads through beads for life, a nonprofit organization that benefits impoverished women in Uganda, which I had just read about before our trip.  How cool is that?

Our final day on the farm Jackie, the innkeeper (how often do you get to use that word in everyday conversation?), took us on a tour of the farm.  She discussed how they garden, without tilling to preserve the layering of the soil, rotating crops, adding compost, and how they now use high tunnels to extend their growing season.  We saw their baby chicks that grow to be egg layers and that grow to be used for meat.  She discussed how they pasture the animals, rotating them on a timetable to get the most benefit for the soil, plants, and themselves out of the animals, and to provide the healthiest conditions for the animals.

Yes, I am holding a baby chick.
We left dreaming of becoming farmers.  Who knows, maybe when we retire that dream will become a reality.  For the present time we have a renewed interest in eating local foods, knowing our farmers and where our food comes from, and growing what we can in our little corner of the 'burbs.